Plasma cutting can produce outstanding cut quality for a variety of materials and thicknesses. But, as anyone knows, when you utilize technology there are certain ways to maximize its effectiveness and get the most out of it. This is certainly true of plasma cutting, regardless of what system, plasma cutter, or material you are using. Below are 3 ways to maximize plasma cut quality and get the most out of your investment in a high quality CNC plasma cutting system.
3 Ways to Maximize CNC Plasma Cut Quality
- Ensure You Have Clean Air
- Clean air may not seem like a big deal when working with something as strong as a plasma torch but it is. Things like oil and water can actually contaminate your compressed air supply and reduce the life of your consumables as well as diminish cut quality. An air filter can help you reduce the risk of air contamination.
- Select the Right Torch Tip
- The right plasma torch tip is an incredibly important component of plasma cutting. Miller Welds explains the importance of selecting the right tip for your fabrication application, “A clean cut relies on several factors: travel speed, technique, distance from the work surface and consumables. Tips focus the plasma stream to the work piece. The machine that Keddell uses for demonstration utilizes 80-amp and 40-amp tips plus offers extended versions of those for increased reach as well as gouging tips. Use a higher-amp tip when cutting thicker material. Because a lower-amp tip has a smaller orifice, it maintains a narrow plasma stream at lower settings for use on thinner material. Using a 40-amp tip at an 80-amp setting will distort the tip orifice and require replacement. Using an 80-tip on the lower settings will not focus the plasma stream as well and lead to a wider kerf. Use extended tips to reach out further for cutting in corners, using patterns or in tight areas.” Gouging tips spread the plasma stream and remove a lot of material at once, enabling the arc to remove a large about of material in a single pass.”
- Optimize Torch Angle and Distance
- Optimizing the torch angle and distance is possibly one of the most important components of achieving the best plasma cut quality. Fortunately, when you opt to use a CNC automated plasma cutting system, rather than a handheld plasma torch, much of the guesswork about distance and angle is handled by the CAD/CAM software and CNC controller. At EZCutCNC, our complete CNC plasma cutting systems contain everything you need, including ATHC (automatic torch height control), to ensure that the plasma torch is at the optimal height at all times.